Prison for Profit
The private-prison movement gained momentum in the 1980s, making false promises of lower costs for its services.
This period coincided with a significant increase in the United States prison population, primarily due to the War on Drugs. The War on Drugs began in June 1971 when U.S. President Richard Nixon declared drug abuse to be "public enemy number one," leading to increased federal funding for drug-control agencies and drug-treatment efforts. President Reagan later escalated the War on Drugs, further contributing to the surge in inmates.
Unfortunately, inmates in private prisons are less likely to receive parole, resulting in longer periods of incarceration. This issue raises concerns about the conflict of interest within the prison-for-profit system.
To address this, there is a need to focus on rehabilitating inmates and helping them become productive members of society, while also encouraging a reduction in recidivism rates within the prison system.
However, further conflicts of interest arise when key stakeholders within the criminal justice system, such as police, attorneys, prosecutors, and judges, have investments in prison-for-profit companies or their parent entities.